Ten seeding machines worked their magic at Dodgshun Medlin’s celebration of 10 years no-till farming in the Mallee.

Ten seeding machines worked their magic at Dodgshun Medlin’s celebration of 10 years no-till farming in the Mallee.The seeder demonstration day was held on Jacko Kiley’s farm near Speed on Wednesday April 10th, 2013 attracting close to 300 farmers to watch the seeding machines in action.

The celebration marked the historic change in farming techniques used in the Mallee. While no-till farming has been around for a long time, it is only in the past ten years that the technique has been successfully used by Mallee farmers.

“The Mallee environment is quite unique and farmers faced a number of challenges including summer weed control of weeds like Skeleton weed, melons, disease and nutritional issues.These issues had to be overcome before no-till seeding techniques could really become so successful,” Danny Conlan, head of Agricultural Management at Dodgshun Medlin said on ABC radio during Country Hour (Wednesday, 10th April, 2013).

“Ten years ago we faced a number of problems like erosion, poor water use and it wasn’t feasible to dry seed. We were dictated by other factors like rain and annual grasses, we really had no control. No-till sowing practices have now given us some of that control back, like beingable to seed to a date, rather than wait for rain,” Said Mr Conlan.

Over ten years ago the Mallee was predominantly farmed using cultivation. The drought in 2002 sparked a real need for farmers to look at alternative ways of sowing that would be sustainable for the future of Mallee farming.Fast-forward ten years and almost 90% of Mallee farmers are now utilising no-till seeding successfully.

The seeder demonstration day allowed farmers the chance to get together and view some of the latest and best technology in seeding systems with the possibility to re-view demonstration results later on in the season as the crop grows.

Founder of Dodgshun Medlin, Ian Dodgshun‘s longstanding vision of supporting agricultural communities has always been strong and this demonstration day is one such example.

Danny Conlan believes the significant change in the Mallee landscape as a result of no-till farming is immense.

“To be able to celebrate such a momentous change in farming techniques alongside industry experts and farmers alike was really special. The day provided a great platform to discuss our current way of seeding and refine future practices.

“Farmers in the Mallee now have a better understanding and more confidence when it comes to no-till farming.We have moved from modifying machines over the last ten years to more dedicated, more accurate machines and there is a lot of talk about disc seeding machines and how do we get disc seeding machines to work well in the Mallee,” said Mr Conlan.

While farming in the Mallee has improved dramatically, there are still issues that need to be overcome in the future, according to some farmers.

“There is plenty here, so its just a matter of finding what… you can spend a lot of money on one system and not necessarily work in a particular paddock you’ve got,” said John Brennan, farmer from Wycheproof.

Eric Yetman, a farmer from Patchewollock commented on the day, “Very interesting…typical Mallee sowing conditions, hot and dry. I originally had a Horwood Bagshaw which I converted to a no-till machine back in 2002…and this year I have just upgraded to a SeedHawk, but I haven’t actually sown anything with it yet.”

Farmers were excited to see the latest dedicated seeding machines in action, both tyne and disc.DBS, DiscAmate, Flexicoil, RFM, John Deere Conservapak, John Deere Disc, Morris, NDF, KHart and SeedHawk were all demonstrated.

Further field days will be held throughout the season to evaluate establishment and growth difference between the machines.

Dodgshun Medlin acknowledge the support from GRDC and Vic No-Till in the undertaking of this demonstration.

About Dodgshun Medlin

Dodgshun Medlin is a generations-deep provider of holistic business management, wealth creation, agronomy services and accountancy guidance to the Victorian & South Australian Mallee & Wimmera Regions.